Cleaning 'most common reason for tenant dispute'

by Sarah Ashcroft

Cleaning is still the number one reason for disputes taking place at the end of tenancy agreements.

This is according to statistics from the Tenant Deposit Scheme, which found that 52 per cent of landlords and agents had to deal with this issue in 2011-2012. This represents an increase on the figure from the previous year of 49 per cent, Landlord Zone reports.

Among the other problems that caused arguments were damage to the property (45 per cent), redecoration (28 per cent) rent arrears (18 per cent) and gardening (12 per cent).

Pat Barber, chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC), said he is not surprised there has been a hike in cleaning-related disputes

"Many tenants fail to keep their property clean and time and time again we see filthy kitchens and bathrooms at check-out. Tenants rarely treat their rented property in the same way as they would a property they owned themselves.

"We all know that accidents do happen during a tenancy, but tenants need to realise that they must take financial responsibility for things that are beyond normal wear and tear," he added.

Mr Barber pointed out that people frequently try to use the excuse that damage sustained has been due to the property being lived in, but this is not always the case. He added renters will always act shocked whenever they are told how much professional cleaning companies will charge.

It highlights why landlords need to make sure they carry out a thorough check of their house and create an inventory before handing over the keys.

According to the AIIC, one of the most common cleaning problems is the oven. If it was listed as completely clean at check in, it must be left in the same condition, or else landlords are within their rights to seek expert help to rectify this situation.

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Published on: February 15, 2013

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